According to exiled Iranian journalist Babak Taghvaee, quoted by the Opex360 website, the Iranian airline Mahan Air, close to the Revolutionary Guards and the government, has managed to acquire two Airbus A-340s that the French Air Force has withdrawn from service, thanks to a shell company based in Indonesia.
Both aircraft were withdrawn from service in 2020, when they were replaced by A-330s following a government plan to support aircraft manufacturing. Subsequently, they were auctioned at a starting price of 80,000 euros each, and acquired for 880,000 euros by the French company LMO Aero.
See alsoWashington sanctions suppliers of the Iranian company Mahan Air
They remained adorned with the military liveries that the army had affixed to the planes, and remained immobilized for two years at Chateauroux airport before being acquired by an Indonesian company and flying to Jakarta in May 2022. This time, they stayed in Indonesia for a year, without the identity of their new owner being revealed, then were registered again this time in Mali, and flew away... but for Iran.
They have now been at the Chabahar airbase in southwestern Iran since May 23, as satellite photographs show.
Shell companies in Indonesia, a country with good relations with Iran, have already been used in the past to circumvent sanctions and exploit technologies, including American ones, banned from sale to Iranians.